Customer Reviews: Me & Lee: How I Came to Know, Love and Lose Lee Harvey Oswald
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on October 20, 2010
As it happens, I have been privileged to know Judyth Vary Baker for several years now. I have interviewed her at least fifteen times on YouTube and featured her in blogs (which are archived at JamesFetzerNews and [...]). I also initiated a thread about her on The Education Forum, which had thousands of posts and became the longest thread in the history of the forum. I am convinced that she is "the real deal", which is also the name of my radio show, which is archived at [...]. But all fifteen can be found at [...].

I have done extensive research on the death of JFK, including editing ASSASSINATION SCIENCE (1998), MURDER IN DEALEY PLAZA (2000), and THE GREAT ZAPRUDER HOAX (2003). My recent publications on JFK include "JFK and RFK: The Plots that Killed Them, The Patsies that Didn't", "The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco" with Jim Marrs, and "RFK: Outing the CIA at the Ambassador", which has just appeared. (Just google "John F. Kennedy: History, Memory, Legacy", and download Chapter 30, "Revisiting Dealey Plaza: What Happened to JFK?" for an overview.) I am familiar with the twists and turns of assassination research and of the extent of the effort to keep Judyth's story from the American public, which have even forced her to live in exile.

In my opinion, there are three major reasons for these attempts to silence her. The first is that she humanizes the alleged assassin, which makes it more difficult for the government to continue with its charade that he was "a lone, demented gunman". The second is that it exposes methods and techniques employed by the agency to keep its covert activities in the background and away from public scrutiny. The third is that she exposes research to develop a bio-weapon to murder Fidel Castro and make it appear to have been due to "natural causes" under the direction of Alton Ochsner, M.D., Dr. Mary Sherman, David Ferrie, Lee Oswald, and herself. Lee was working for the very agencies that would ultimately frame him.

This is a gripping and absolutely compelling story told with emotional intensity and stunning candor. We already knew that the weapon he was alleged to have used cannot have fired the bullets that killed JFK. We also knew that he was on the 2nd floor in the lunchroom at the time of the shooting. We also know that he admired JFK and bore him no malice. Which means the man who was fingered by the Warren Commission for murdering JFK had neither the means, the motive, or the opportunity to have killed him. Now we know what was happening during the crucial months that Lee was in New Orleans prior to 22 November 1963 through this book, which brings the character and personality of the man who would be cast as "the patsy" to life.

This book ranks among the very best ever written on the assassination, including BLOODY TREASON by Noel Twyman, JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE by James Douglass, INSIDE THE ARRB by Douglas Horne, and LBJ: THE MASTERMIND BEHIND JFK'S ASSASSINATION by Phillip Nelson, most of whom I have also interviewed. (See, for example, [...]) ME & LEE belongs in this illustrious collection. Judyth Vary Baker has demonstrated her courage, integrity, and dedication to the truth and has made a major contribution to understanding the plot to kill our 35th president and has earned our admiration.
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on October 5, 2010
Me and Lee tells us a story of a man we have all heard about. But we finally get to meet him.
Judyth Vary Baker recalls her relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald from the time they met in New Orleans in the spring of 1963 until their last phone conversation just two days before events in Dallas identified him to the public.

She introduces him as a "good man" and a "patriot." He helped her get a job, he revealed his secret life as a government agent concerned about protecting President Kennedy and consoled her over the turmoil in her life - a bad marriage, a new city to live in and an unknown future.

This refreshing, new look at Oswald will challenge preconceptions many people have had about him. Many will be willing to at least give her story a chance. And that is all that Baker asks for, as she states in the books final line, "I leave my testimony in your hands."

Those who wish to dismiss what she says will have to contend with several factors, among them: Baker's candor, her depth of detail and verification of much of the story.

Judyth Baker never claims to be a saint. She admits to having an affair with Oswald during a time in which both were married to other people. And she acknowledges she spent time with questionable company, including New Orleans mafia boss Carlos Marcello, on a questionable top-secret project designed to develop cancer cells to be used to poison Fidel Castro.

Even though she was only twenty years old during this time, she makes no excuses and allows herself to be seen in a less-than-sympathetic light at times. Her writing thus shows sincerity about herself.

Baker also gives details of her relationship with Oswald. She recounts phone conversations, places the two went and people they met. Her questioning of Oswald about his actions during this time provide a strong picture of what many have suspected all along: he served as an agent during the Cold War, pretending to be a Communist at times so as to provide cover for other activities.

And she provides in her Appendix many details that confirm her story, such as a portion of a tourist visa for Oswald to visit Mexico, her recounting of an interview with Anna Lewis as a person who knew her and Oswald and her conversations with people such as David Ferrie to provide a conclusion for such questions as why Ruby, a friend of Oswald's, would kill him.

The story of Me and Lee is for anyone who wants to learn more about one of the most misunderstood people in our nation's history. It is a story of a flawed man written by a flawed woman who has dealt with the passage of time in recounting it. Their imperfections do not harm the reading of the story: they make it all the more likely to be true.
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on October 19, 2010
It's somewhat difficult to read this book in the harsh glare of today's cynical society. But the author's honest memories, although almost incredibly naive as viewed within the current paradigm, seem perfectly credible in the context of 1963 America. So in reading this love story, researchers must get beyond the fairy tale and look at the apparent facts Baker presents. Her book Me & Lee, is full of "facts" many of which are astounding. According to her, Lee Harvey Oswald should be remembered as real person with strong but almost child-like feelings of patriotism and romantic love. He was her dear friend and lover in the Summer of '63. Only 24 years old, he was a disciplined, well-read, self-educated person of strong convictions. He had already experienced a lifetime of adventures, relationships, and tribulations: orphanage living, Mafia-related foster parents, parental divorces, Marine duty in Japan (playing the part of the good American and the bad American), travel to Soviet Russia in an attempted "defection", marriage to a young Russian woman with Soviet espionage connections, return to America (with the government giving him a pass on his apparent treason), shooting at General Walker in April 1963 (according to the Warren Commission), starting his own branch of a pro-Castro organization in New Orleans while working secretly as part of a conspiracy to kill Castro, falling in love with the author Judyth Vary Baker, rubbing shoulders with the powerful Dallas White Russian community, finding a job in a building located on Dealey Plaza (the perfect location to execute the crime of the century), and finally becoming the prime suspect in the killing of a Dallas policeman and the President of the United States. Then as a postscript, he is a victim of assassination (a live-TV first), and takes his place in the history books of the school children of America, as the "official", non-conspiratorial, "lone-nut", motivation-unknown killer of JFK.

With the publication of her book, Judyth Vary Baker has introduced many new juicy "facts" into the JFK assassination stew. Some may question her facts, but that is the nature of this historical beast. After 47 years, identifying and interpreting the Oswald "facts" has become almost impossible. But the nature of Oswald's life in New Orleans in 1963 has remained a mystery until now. The facts of that period of time have been few and confusing. The author illuminates this time with her personal reflections as a young cancer researcher hired to work on a secret project. The book deals with events of incredible historical impact but maintains a light-hearted, youthful tone often laced with tour guide detail. She describes an alleged major criminal/political conspiracy involving all the "usual suspects": Dave Ferrie, Clay Shaw, Guy Bannister, Jack Martin, Dean Andrews, Carlos Marcello and a couple of new players from the medical establishmentDr. Mary's Monkey: How the Unsolved Murder of a Doctor, a Secret Laboratory in New Orleans and Cancer-Causing Monkey Viruses are Linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, ... Assassination and Emerging Global Epidemics. However, some the well-known players, while acting out the same parts that Jim Garrison scripted in his trial, appear to have different motives. In her scenario, Ferrie and Oswald respect JFK and only want to kill Castro which will spare Kennedy's life. Others like Shaw are involved but their motivations are murky. It may be impossible to know understand the motives of the JFK/Castro/CIA/Anti-Castro/Mafia/FBI/Right Wing/political elements. One is left with the feeling that the "usual suspects" are really only puppets controlled by unknown hands. However, since the Warren Commission's case against Oswald is such a house of cards, the facts provided in this book provide more tools to undermine its conclusions: Is it true that Oswald was a paid agent of the government as Baker concludes? Did he know Jack (Sparky) Ruby as a close friend and conspiratorial co-worker? Was he part of a highly organized and financed plan to kill Castro? Did he deliver a cancer-producing device to a mental hospital in Louisiana as a test, which resulted in the murder of several inmates? If any of these "facts" are true you can fill in the blanks of Garrison's case and disregard the evidentiary weight of the Commission and its 26 volumes. If the author's facts are true, the Warren Report must have been based on falsified evidence, inept or non-existent investigation, and the clever omission and distortion of reality. Did all-powerful parties create a patchwork, cartoon-like picture of Oswald as the "lone nut" by forcing ill-fitting historical puzzle pieces into their positions and selling this as the "truth" to the American people? If so, the real truth was buried, the 4th estate was bound and gagged, and Americans now carry the psychological burden of knowing their political "parents" in Washington D.C. are at the very least hypocrites and at worst murderers.
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on December 7, 2011
I am born and raised in the New Orleans area and still reside there. I was a student at Loyola University in the early sixties and used to see this wierd looking guy with painted eye brows hanging around the campus barber shop. I had always bought the idea that Oswald was a nutcake, lone assassin and Jim Garrison's attempted prosecution of Clay Shaw that I followed closely in the news did little to convince me otherwise. I didn't bother to see the JFK movie because I thought Garrison was a a screw ball. A couple of years ago I heard a radio interview of Ed Haslam and read his "Dr. Mary's Monkey". That's when I realized that the wierdo was David Ferrie and he was a friend of Perry Russo who was in some of my classes. I later read "Mafia Kingfish", "JFK and Sam", and now "Me & Lee". I also viewed the JFK movie. Each of these accounts of what happened supports the theories presented in the others. My lone assassin opinion has now been de-railed.

The author spends more time than necessary in the early chapters convincing us of her knowledge and expertise in cancer research. The story got interesting for me when she arrived in New Orleans. I was in the middle of where all this was happening and didn't know it. I really enjoyed the book.
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on January 28, 2011
"Me and Lee" is a mix of spy adventure and bio-warfare worthy of Michael Crighton, a love quadrangle you might find in the romance section but more sincerely written, and a deep interleaving of much of the conspiracy evidence in the JFK assassination. And to top it off, the author declares it is completely true! The personal and emotional story is certainly a breath of fresh air compared to muddled evidence usually associated with Dealey Plaza, and the author has the skill to keep you turning every page. Her story would be fascinating even without such a well known co-star as Lee Oswald.

About half way through you might become first curious if it is really true, and a week of evenings sifting through confusing and conflicting claims on the internet as I did. Let me suggest you consider first the question of whether the personal experiences Judyth relates are really her experiences. You can enter Judyth Vary Baker into a search engine and find her web page, and also the web pages of a John McAdams, who is her leading critic, and read and compare them for yourself. John is a defender of the lone assassin scenario, and attempts to find inconsistencies in Judy's story as it evolved through time. On John's site you will find links to Black Op Radio interviews with Judyth. Judy has a point by point rebuttal to McAdams on her website. You could hardly ask for a clearer debate. And there is no solid refutation of Judy's evidence.

On Judy's site you will find video of an episode of the History Channel's "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" which is an interview with Judy, and hear a much synopsized version of her story told by herself. You can decide if she seems sincere to you. But this synopsis has only a shadow of the intriguing quality of the book, which reads with first person narrative intensity that begs to be made into a movie.

Quite separate from deciding the author's credibility, you can get lost in deciphering Lee's character, and trying to understand whether Judy really understands this apparently more charismatic character than we previously realized, or whether her view is colored by the fact she is obviously in love with him. There are also opposing analyses of Lee on the web, including articles you can find by Pricilla Johnson MacMillian, a book by his brother Robert Oswald, and interviews and articles on a Lee Oswald website. Was he a clever double agent, taking a Russian wife as part of his cover, charming many women when necessary for his missions, dumping them as carelessly as his hero and idol "I Led Three Lives" Herb Philbrick? Was Judyth just another of these women? Or did Lee really care about the people in his life, and was Judyth someone he loved and had plans to run away with? Even Lee's wife Marina has changed her mind through the years about whether she thinks Lee is guilty. It is impossible to resist this fascinating puzzle, and it is soon clear that whatever he was, Lee was not disconnected from people like the stereotype lone nut assassins we have found in so many other cases.

Whatever you think about who shot Kennedy, and even if you don't particularly care, this book will entertain you, make you think about relationships, take you through a time warp to relive the early 60's if you happen to remember them, and take you into the life of a brilliant, naive and inspiring woman.
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on November 7, 2014
I've been around shooters and firearms for my entire life and count myself as something of a firearms expert and have never, even for an instant, believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was capable of making the shots for which the Warren Commission credited him. And, even if he had been, the equipment they claimed he used certainly wasn't up to the task. To argue otherwise was just ridiculous, but to compound that foolishness by creating the "magic bullet theory" and hiding the fact that the back of President Kennedy's head suffered a massive exit wound as were required to conclude that Oswald was the lone shooter turned the entire investigation into a transparent and cruel hoax.

That said, I don't really think that the Warren Commission knew who was responsible for the assassination and was covering up for those persons. Rather, I think that their marching orders from LBJ, to rapidly conduct and conclude an investigation that "proved" that Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty and that he acted alone, were accepted because they believed a priori that Oswald was, in fact, the lone assassin and that quickly putting that to bed and quelling the growing conspiracy theories was of primary importance -- more important even than knowing the truth.

So, Judith Vary hasn't changed my mind in any way -- I've always known that others were involved and have never believed that Oswald was anything but a patsy, set up to take the fall. I have no real opinion as the who the real perpetrators or their what their motivations were -- and neither does Ms. Vary -- all we both fervently believe is that it wasn't Lee Harvey Oswald. I watched Oswald get murdered on live Sunday morning television and, if I knew nothing else, that would have convinced me that Oswald was a patsy. Now, knowing that Jack Ruby had known and liked Oswald for his entire life, does nothing but further solidify that conclusion.

I enjoyed the book; learned a few new facts about the period leading up to the assassination; and, learned a lot of new facts about Judy Vary herself. A good read.
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on November 13, 2014
Excellent read. Opened my eyes to alot of things concerning that era. Hard to believe that's what makes it so believeble! Highly reccommend it for Kennedy fans and that day in Dallas. Changed my opinion of Lee. The author had lots of footnotes to back up her statements. Some will scoff,but I believe this amazing story
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on October 8, 2014
A very detailed account of a personal relationship between two young people who meet and become deeply involved. A must read to better understand the events of the 1960's. I now feel that like most people who wanted to believe in the high moral standards of our leaders that we were misled. Judyth has come out with great courage to let truth be known.
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on November 8, 2014
Judyth Vary Baker's story is so compelling that I couldn't put this book down. This is a very fascinating read and credible, you can't make this stuff up! I've given it away and repurchased it a couple times already. Highly recommended.
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on November 9, 2014
Judyth Vary Baker has written an outstanding and documented exposition of the convergence of her life and professional background as a young and promising cancer researcher with that of Dr. Alton Ochsner, Dr. Mary Sherman, David Ferrie, and Lee Harvey Oswald, as co-workers in a secret bioweapons program based upon covert cancer research based in 1963 New Orleans. Ms. Baker's account of this program's existence is cross-verified by the work of Edward T. Haslam (who also wrote the Foreword to ME & LEE) in his book DR. MARY'S MONKEY: HOW THE UNSOLVED MURDER OF A DOCTOR, A SECRET LABORATORY IN NEW ORLEANS AND CANCER CAUSING MONKEY VIRUSES ARE LINKED TO LEE HARVEY OSWALD, THE JFK ASSASSINATION AND EMERGING GLOBAL EPIDEMICS. I would encourage EVERYONE to read Ms. Baker's account of this part of her life and that of Lee Oswald in conjunction with Mr. Haslam's fine book and with Ms. Baker's follow-up book, DAVID FERRIE. In addition to various JFK assassination works (including recent books by Jerome Corsi and Joseph P. Farrell) which belie the whitewash of THE WARREN REPORT, I also recommend Russ Baker's book, FAMILY OF SECRETS. Do your own homework and in due time you will find good evidence to support Ms. Baker's contention that Lee Oswald, as he himself claimed on camera, was a "patsy" who was set-up and framed to take the blame for the JFK assassination. Her book is clearly written, plainly documented, and chronologically told so it is easy to read and follow. FIVE STARS and 'Bravo!' to Ms. Baker for bravely doing America a great public service.
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